Japanese Auto Sales Rose 3.5% in 2014

Japan’s new auto sales rose 3.5 percent in 2014 from 2013 to 5,562,887 vehicles for the third straight yearly increase, as strong sales of minivehicles more than offset downward pressure on sales from the consumption tax hike in April, data released by industry bodies showed Monday.

Sales of cars other than minivehicles rose 0.8 percent in the 12 months to 3,290,098 units, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said.

Those of minivehicles, which have an engine of 660 cc or less, increased 7.6 percent to a record 2,272,789 units, said the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association.

Carmakers have been among industries most heavily hit by the sales tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent, which has weighed on consumer and business spending in the country. But they also saw a demand surge resulting from last-minute buying by consumers in the months ahead of the tax increase.

Minivehicles have attracted consumers with their relatively low price and high fuel efficiency, characteristics increasingly focused on after the tax increase.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza